24 years after the supposed start of construction, Kunzvi Dam has now become more of an enigmatic myth forever talked about but never seen.
The project has suffered numerous delays and controversies over the years, with many bidders failing to get the multi-million dollar contract.
Kunzvi Dam, to be built at the confluence of Nyaguwe and Nora rivers in Goromonzi district, falls in a different catchment area from Chivero, Manyame, Seke and Harava dams that derive their water from Manyame River and is supposed to be the final solution to perennial water challenges in Harare, Chitungwiza and Norton.
Below we reproduce the tragic timeline of how the project has blundered on for the past 24 years thrown around among consortiums, Ministries and politicians who have campaigned using it with nothing realized after.
Timeline of Frenetic Stagnancy
1996 Kunzvi Dam project is approved by the government on the realisation Harare’s growth is outstripping its water demands. The then Department of Water Development proposes the idea of the construction of a new reservoir on Nyaguwe River to serve Harare and its satellite towns.
The project involves the construction of a dam with a capacity of 800 megalitres of water. It will include the construction of pumping stations, reservoirs, a barrage, a substation, a powerhouse, access roads, spillway and a tunnel, the installation of crust gates, turbines, transformers, generators, safety and security systems, and the laying of pipelines and transmission lines.
2002 Government floats a tender for the construction of the dam. The tender values the construction cost at $21 billion. The tender float flops as they are no takers.
It goes into hibernation.
2011 Muchadeyi Masunda, the first Non-Executive Mayor after the abolishment of the role, appeals to then Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to influence government to hand over the construction programme of Kunzvi Dam to Council which has capacity. Mr Sipepa Nkomo is the Government of National Unity (GNU) Minister of Water Resources Development and Management.
The government doesn’t budge. The cost is now US$1.1 billion.
2013 GNU is over. Government floats another $150 billion tender. Later Vice President, Joyce Mujuru is the Minister of Rural Resources and Water Development responsible for the project.
2013 Kunzvi Water Development Corporation is appointed as the build, own, operate, and transfer (BOOT) contractor for the project. The corporation includes the government, Locan Holdings, Swede Water Ltd, Okada Group from Nigeria and Vinci Group of France.
Bigen Africa Consulting Engineers, BKS Group and Dycon from South Africa have been appointed as technical engineers, and CBZ Bank Ltd, Brian Colquhoun, SDP Africa, Deloitte and Finesse Financial Services as financial advisers for the project.
The Government provides funding of US$2 million for the project.
2014, June, BOOT contract awarded to the consortium is canceled.
2016, January SinoHydro is selected to develop the project on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis.
2016, July Power Construction Corporation of China Ltd (PowerChina) is appointed as an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the Water Supply system to Harare City.
2016, November SinoHydro is appointed as a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contractor for the dam.
The project delays due to lack of funds, while the main construction is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2017.
2018 President Mnangagwa says the government has secured funding for the construction of the much-awaited and now $680 million Kunzvi-Musami Dam.
The President thanks Chinese President Xi Jinping “for the decision to unlock funding for various projects, such as the Hwange 7 and 8 Thermal Power Project and the construction of Kunzvi-Musami Dam, including this important project (airport),” he said
2019, a feasibility study for the project is said to have been completed and it would start construction in 2020.
2020 We wait for a miracle